On Wednesday night, agent Ralph Cindrich tweeted a sage piece of advice for NFL players, suggesting those who have been released should “(go) into a hole for 24 hours” — and that the quiet time should double for players let go for the first time.
I’m not sure if Cindrich was specifically referring to Brian Urlacher, whom the Bears announced they weren’t able to re-sign on Wednesday. It doesn’t matter, really. In the end, it probably would be sound advice for Urlacher, very much a free agent right now, to have followed.
But let us consider Brian Urlacher’s situation for a moment. The Bears announced they were planning to move on without him.
I don’t know Urlacher, but I could understand why he would want to explain his side of the story to whomever asked him. Expecting him to turn the other cheek is a little unreasonable. He’s never endured anything like this at the NFL level.
Forget on-field defeats and the like — he’s coping with losing part of his identity.
I can also understand why he may not have completely ruled out returning to Chicago, as NFL Network’s Albert Breer reported, even with the franchise moving to make such a return pretty difficult. We’re talking about the only team, only locker room he’s known. Of course he’d consider reclaiming his spot, shaking this off as best he could, if the Bears were willing to give a little more on their side of the negotiating table.
Well, it’s hard to see that happening now.
If you want to boil this down to strictly business, go ahead. NFL teams make decisions like this all the time. Did Brian Urlacher overestimate his value? It sure looks like it. The Bears’ $2 million offer seems fair to me.
Perhaps Urlacher would be willing to take the same terms to play middle linebacker a different team. He indicated as much in an interview with Sirius XM on Wednesday. Two million dollars, Urlacher told the satellite radio service, “is a lot of money, don’t get me wrong, but for me to go through a season, put my body through what it goes through during a season at my age, I’m not going to play for that, you know, not for the Bears at least.”
The question, of course, is whether any such deals are out there — or whether the Bears’ offer was as good as it gets.
We will see where Urlacher, who turns 35, goes from here. I’m not sure. He may not know.
But I do know this: He’s going to hurt on Thursday morning, the dawn of the first day of the rest of his football life.